You think that’s confusing… the speakers of Uralic languages in Siberia used to be called “Tatars” too. That’s because the Uralic languages were once lumped in classification with the Altaic languages, and they were all called “Tatar” indiscriminately. Why? Well, the Tatars speak an Altaic language. It was once thought that the speakers of Uralic and Altaic languages, because they spoke agglutinative languages, would form a Pan-Turanic movment. Turanic is an ancient word for Central Asian nomads applied in modern times as an umbrella term for Uralic + Altaic speakers. It makes more sense than calling them all “Tatars.”
You can still find etymologies of the word mammoth that perpetuate this confusion. Mammoth comes from Russian mamont, which the dictionary etymologies say came from a “Tatar” word meaning ‘earth’. Uh-uh. The actual word for earth in the real Tatar language is jir. The word for earth that the Russians got the word for mammoth from is derived from one of the Uralic languages of Siberia, for example the Ob-Ugric languages Khanty or Mansi, which are related to Hungarian. The word for earth in Mansi is mâ, which seems to have been the source of mammoth. Because frozen mammoths were dug out of the Siberian permafrost. The word for earth in some Finnic languages is the same word, for example Finnish and Estonian maa.
More confusion… Nowadays the Kazakhs and the Kyrgyz are two distinct nations. But before World War II or thereabouts, the Russian name for the Kazakhs was Kyrgyz. If you read about history of Central Asia in the 19th or early 20th century, you have to keep that in mind to avoid being thrown completely off track.
The Arabic word shaykh literally means ‘old man’, but it is used to mean a man, not necessarily old, in a position of authority. Could be meant in either a political or religious sense, both, or neither. Sometimes women of authority are called shaykhah, adding a feminine ending to the originally masculine word. Anyway, the Arabic word ends with -kh, not -k. Those are two completely different letters in the Arabic alphabet.
The spelling “sheik” in English is a badly mangled version of the word, so why not adjust it to be a little closer to the original Arabic? These days, Arabs are not far-off exotic sand creatures living on the far side of the globe. There are lots of them right here in America, and like it or not, Americans have been thrown into everyday contact with them. The incentive for the study of the Arabic language has recently increased rapidly in the USA, so naturally many Americans are starting to get better acquainted with it.
Speaking of Turkmenistan: remember when Homer Simpson lost his driver’s license and took to walking? He sang a song about walking to Turkmenistan? One of the few times that country’s name has entered America’s consciousness.